Berlin App Summit - retrospective

by Peter_vdL Motorola 04-14-2011 10:28 AM - edited 04-16-2011 11:00 PM

The city of Berlin, the capital of Germany, has more than 800 years of recorded history.   Over centuries, Berlin has built a reputation as a place of culture, a place that is friendly and nurturing to the arts.  The MOTODEV team were in Berlin earlier this week, to present the App Summit on programming the XOOM tablet and ATRIX handset.


More than 350 developers signed up for the Berlin MOTODEV App Summit.  The Ritz-Carlton hotel on Potsdamer Platz had all the resources needed to host our event.  The evening before the Summit, I took a walk down nearby EbertStraße to get some fresh air.  EbertStraße is lined with statues, memorials, and public art.  One of the first art works I saw was a tribute to the literary giant, Johann von Goethe.


Goethe was a polymath.  He is roughly the German equivalent of Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton, and Lady Gaga, all rolled into one.  His poem "Faust" has been called the "longest great poem of modern European literature".  [Note from Ed: I think that may be "the greatest long poem"]  After Goethe died in 1832, they put up this statue commemorating the man and his words.


The Berlin App Summit started early the next day, at 8 am, with registration and breakfast.   We also had a device bar, allowing attendees hands-on experience with Motorola phones and tablets.  After a couple of keynote speeches, we got down to the serious business of sharing coding techniques for xlarge screen devices like the XOOM, and HTML5-capable devices like the ATRIX.   The presentations continued throughout the day, with coffee breaks and a catered lunch.  I had plenty of time to talk with developers, who were rightly proud of the Android apps they had already completed.


Some of the developers shared their thoughts with me.

Falko Richter at TIC Mobile commented "we already completed an important mobile application for Deutsche Bahn. And as apps (consumer as well as enterprise) are no longer for smartphones only, it is an important requirement to take the apps to other devices like tablets. This Summit shared some top developer experiences on how to do that."

Rodja Trapper of Hoccer told me "I attended this summit to hear how best to port our apps to the XOOM tablet.   At Hoccer, we have a free app that does data transfer by a device bump, or a throw/catch dynamic.  Look for it in the market under the name Hoccer.   The Summit gave me the information I needed".

Nicolas Gramlich, a Master's student in Darmstadt, said "I wanted to port my A-Play and A-Controller game engine to the tablet because I wanted to see them run on xlarge screen Android hardware.  I'm very pleased with the results, and my users are too."


I saw another statue, as I walked down to the Brandenburg Gate; a statue that confused me completely.  It was a life-sized red elephant, covered in writing.The large slogan across the torso "wir sind die Niedersachsen" means "We are the Lower Saxonians".  It's the first line of their regional anthem.  (It's common for provinces, and even individual towns, on the continent, to have their own anthem song).  All the other words are names of towns in Lower Saxony (a northern province of Germany).  If anyone can explain this red elephant statue, I would love to hear your theory.


I'm guessing it is a parody of a more serious art piece, perhaps this "Elephant in the Room" performance art by Banksy.  If my guess is accurate, we are entering some sort of post-ironic age of art criticism, in which conventional art lampoons counter-cultural jammers.  And that makes my head hurt. 


Let us end this reflection on Berlin, Art, XOOMs and ATRIXs with a thought from Johann Goethe, "One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a fine poem, see a fine picture, and if possible, speak a few reasonable words" - it's pretty clear that Goethe, with those words in 1795, actually invented Facebook; sorry, von Winklevosses.


Peter van der Linden

Android Technology Evangelist

Coming soon with the MOTODEV team, to a continent near you


Google automatic translation of this blog. (translation goes awry when it encounters non-English words).

by EdwinB Motorola on 04-14-2011 02:32 PM

The Red Elephant is located in front of the 'embassy' of Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein. As you may know, Germany is made up out of 'Bundes Staten', semi independent states within the larger republic and each of these states have representations in Berlin ( all of this is relatively new, since the government moved from Bonn to Berlin after the reunification of Germany.)


Apparently this elephant has recently gotten a companion, a Horse, with many depictions of landmarks of Niedersachsen.


I was not able to figure out why an Asian elephant represents Niedersachsen. The horse makes more sense, since there is a depiction of a horse in the flag on Niedersachsen.

by MP(anon) on 04-15-2011 02:02 AM

The red elephant wears the names of the departments of the Bundesstaat Hessen. Hessen is one of the 16 German Federal States. It stands infront of the embassy of Hessen in the German Capital. It symbolizes the way of heavy weight politics: it moves only if it needs to and it tries to sounds great when in public or in the yellow press. When it **bleep**s, it **bleep**s huge volume of **bleep**. One single difference to the real elephant is, that the real elephant has a very good memory. In contrast to that German politicans are forgetting anything they promised after elections.


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